HUNTINGTON, W.Va.—A lot has been said and written about new Marshall basketball coach Dan D’Antoni’s commitment to keeping the best West Virginia basketball players in-state and bringing them to Marshall. He’s certainly not limiting his recruiting base to the mountain state. He’s also looking across the pond for talented players who can help rebuild the program.
Enter assistant coach Scott Rigot who already has established relationships overseas.
“I’ve spent the last several years abroad and have developed different contacts and relationships to allows us to go in that direction,” Rigot says during a guest appearance on WRVC’s Supertalk Sportsline with Paul Swann and Woody Woodrum.
Rigot has a varied coaching background which includes spending last year as a consultant in Israel and the year prior coaching at a university in China. He believes Marshall can be an attractive option for foreign players.
“For someone like Dan, it makes perfect sense. He likes to push the ball, he likes to play an up tempo style. He really likes to be able to let the players play and I think that’s appealing at an international level,” explains Rigot.
Rigot insists success by foreign players in the NBA has also opened eyes to the skill level of international players and the skills they bring to the table.
“The Spurs had 11 of the 13 guys were international this year and won a world championship,” points out Rigot.
But it’s not just the international players Rigot is after.
“A lot has been made about me recruiting internationally but one of my favorite places to go recruit kids is New York. I’ve always had great success recruiting kids out of New York,” says Rigot.
His career also has stops at Kentucky, South Carolina, Hawaii and Duquesne. He helped secure a 2004 recruiting class at Kentucky that was rated the best in the nation and included Rajon Rondo and Ramel Bradley.
He knows what it takes to build a successful program.
“A lot comes down to who you know and where you can go to get a kid. I try to go places where I know somebody,” explains Rigot. “Marshall has a lot of great things to offer. There’s a certainly level of fanaticism that you don’t normally see that when kids come here to visit they’ll be able to pick up that pulse around the program.”
Just because a formula worked at Kentucky or South Carolina, Rigot understands it may not work at Marshall.
“Each school is different. Every school offers its own unique skill set that they have that helps entire kids,” says Rigot. “You have examine the situation of a particular situation and recruit accordingly.”
D’Antoni’s staff is committed to rebuilding the program with the best players they can find, recruiting players from Matewan to Munich and from Welch to Warsaw and all points in between.
Or something like that.